Make sale of sustainable seafood mandatory in wet markets

Singapore is a global food paradise, and Singaporeans take their food seriously.

Hence, the fact that three out of four popular seafood species eaten here are environmentally unsustainable is shocking and cannot be taken lightly ("Risk of your favourite fish going extinct"; Oct 5).

We need to start making the switch to sustainable seafood.

I commend Hilton Singapore and Grand Hyatt for switching to sustainable seafood and setting an example for others.

Many Singaporeans buy fresh seafood from supermarkets or wet markets.

Unfortunately, the products do not have the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) labels, which indicate that the seafood was responsibly farmed and harvested.

I have found out that while our local supermarkets do stock sustainable seafood, they are mostly frozen and pricier. There are also limited choices.

This needs to change. I encourage supermarkets and wet markets to supply fresh sustainable seafood instead.

This could help change the mindsets of fisheries to become more sustainable, and thus be a worthy investment in our future.

Perhaps the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority could look into mandatory labels on sustainable seafood for wet markets, which would encourage sellers to switch to sustainable fisheries.

Publicity campaigns can also be launched to encourage Singaporeans to choose sustainable seafood.

Lastly, I urge consumers to be aware and to spread the message to family and friends.

When shopping for seafood, they should look for the MSC/ASC label and refer to the Sustainable Seafood Guide released by the World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore.

When eating out, they should seek out restaurants serving sustainable seafood.

By choosing such seafood, we are choosing a sustainable future for ourselves and our children.

Amelia Yam Ting Yu (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2016, with the headline 'Make sale of sustainable seafood mandatory in wet markets'. Print Edition | Subscribe